Starmer As Labour's Leader-what should he do?

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Ken Burch
Starmer As Labour's Leader-what should he do?

This is a thread to discuss where the Labour Party should go next, now that its leadership contest has concluded.

If Starmer wants to unify the party, his approach must be purely postive, not punitive.

He can't do that by staging Kinnock-style mass purges of the left-and I think he realizes that Kinnock was wrong to persecute socialists for electoral defeats which were mainly Kinnock's own fault.

He knows there is no public support for going back to the Third Way-an outdated and irrelevant set of essentially Tory policies that have no utility in this day and age.

If Starmer learned anything from the collapse of the Red Wall, Starmer should have learned that it did Labour nothing but damage for him and the PLP to keep pushing the party to go hardline Remain-he himself had SAID that Brexit was a settled issue in 2017.

Here are three things I'd advise him to do:

1) Keep the policies radical-if Labour doesn't stay left wing, it ceases to have any reason to exist-but have fewer of them, get them out to the electorate earlier than in 2019-the policies were almost entirely popular; it was simply the amount of them that did damage.  Get the explanation out about costing earlier, too;  

2) On antisemitism, limit the investigation SOLELY to incidents where people actually displayed bigotry towards Jews as people or Judaism as a set of cultural and religious traditions; make it clear that criticism of the Israeli government or opposition to Zionism as a now-permanently right wing, oppressive and bigoted nationalist movement, a natioalist movement which long ago abandoned its project of liberating people from oppression and is now reduced to nothing but the meaningless and essentially fascist projecct of taking land from another national community for the SAKE of taking the land from another national community has nothing whatsoever in common with bigotry towards or the oppressio of people who are Jewish.  The investigation being demanded is ONLY legitimate if that clear distinction is made.  Also, do NOT adopt that portion of the BoD "pledges' which deny those accused of antisemitism the presumption of innocence and which threaten party members with suspension or expulsion simply for expressing the view that those accused could have been falsely accused-a "pledge" the BoD had no justification for insisting on, since many accusations of AS within the party have turnout out to be false;

3) Introduce Open Selection for all sitting MPs-Corbyn was too loyal to his own MPs-showing them a loyalty they never once extended to him-to do this, but it is essential, as Labour can only be a party that represents the values of its rank and file-the people Labour exists TO represent and embody; 

Those choices would unify and strengthen the party.  The choice of punishment and mass expulsions, coupled with a Kinnock-style total abandonment of socialism, would do nothing but harm.  

What the electorate is looking for is strong, anti-austerity socialist leadership-the coronavirus situation has totally discredited all "moderate" or "fiscally conservative" policy ideas and everyone accepts that there must now be a massive public investment in reviving those areas of the UK that the Tories and New Labour largely left to rot economically-Wales, the North,the Northeast, the Midlands-and simply in keeping the people of the UK alive during the pandemic.

Starmer needs to speak with radical fire.  He can only beat the Tories if he connects with the young who joined Labour in the hundreds of thousands, since 2015, none of whom can be induced to vote for Labour in 2024 if it "moves to the center" and abandons their generation to the miseries of "market values-AND offers the voters in the former Red Wall constituencies-the ones who are furious with the party for it's pointless abandonment of the "we accept the results of the referendum" pledge from 2017, the ones who see the EU as bearing as much responsiblity for the economic decline of their region as Margaret Thatcher and her ruling class vindictiveness.  Starmer has to connect with those groups and has to accept that it is pointless to try to win over "socially progressive, fiscally conservative" voters in an era where such voters simply no longer exist in the UK.  

Starmer can only win if he accepts that there is nothing in common between this era and the 1990s, and that nothing Labour did in the 1990s has any useful application in this era.

He needs to be strong, but he also needs to focus any anger he might feel solely toward the Tories, because it is the Tories that are the enemy, not the socialists.

Left Turn Left Turn's picture

Well said, Ken.

NDPP

'I Support Zionism Without Qualification' - Sir Keir Starmer, Leader, UK Labour

https://twitter.com/AliAbunimah/status/1246397791150190592

"New UK Labour leader Keir Starmer declares himself an unapologetic anti-Palestinian racist. How sad that so many Labour members surrendered to bullying and smears and voted for a disgusting bigot."

Lobby wins.

nicky

Corbynites culled from shadow cabinet. No top job for RLB.

some of you may disagree but this is excellent first step by Starmer.

https://order-order.com/2020/04/05/labour-reshuffle-live/

 

Ken Burch

If it's only anti-Corbyn people in the top jobs, it means it will be no one who comes even close to being a socialist, and thus no one who cares about the poor-since the only people in the party who do care about the poor are on the left wing.

nicky

What drivel you write Ken.

It is a mindless slur to say that Starmer and his shadow ministers do not care about the poor and that the only ones who do are the Corbynite Conservative enablers.

Sean in Ottawa

The leadership has to include all factions of the party in senior positions or that party will blow apart and face a new party on the left. Nicky, this concern is real. 

Ken Burch

nicky probably still thinks Yvette Cooper or Andy Burnham should have been elected leader in 2015-even though neither of them could ever have been popular and even though putting either of them in the job would have kept the part a pro-austerity, prowar dead zone and guaranteed that the party would have stayed at the 2010 and 2015 support levels for the rest of eternity, since nobody wanted the party to keep blurring the differences.

Labour ONLY gained ten percentage points in the popular vote share in 2017 because it broke with Blairist/Blue Labour policies and because it accepted the results of the EU referendum as the end of the matter.  It only lost votes in 2019 because the AS lie campaign was invented by the Blairists and the Tories and because the Labour Right forced Corbyn to accept a second referendum and after forcing that kept pushing, for no valid reason, for the party to abandon socialism and even social democracy and for the party to tell the Red Wall constituencies that they didn't matter, to go hardline Remain.   

Starmer accepted that the issue was settled in 2017.  He had no good reason, after accepting that THAT year, to switch to sabotaging the party's chances by pushing for a hardline Remain stance at the party conference right before the election, and taking that push so far that he held a Labour Remain rally outside the conference itself.  

Starmer knew he was harming the party and he knew Corbyn could neither go allout Remain or resign as leader with an election imminent, so he has to take a significant share of the responsibility for Labour's showing, and he has no mandate to either anathemize Corbyn or erase the policies Corbyn's supporters advocate.   

Why are you so obsessed with erasing everything Corbyn's supporters wanted?  There aren't any policies to the right of those policies other than simply supporting the Tory manifesto and being done with it.

If Labout didn't put rail, water, and electricity into social ownership, didn't back a massive increase in social spending, didn't get rid of the benefits sanctions and DID start fetishisizing the flag and the useless, irrlevant German monarchy, what could it do that even mattered?

There is no "centre ground", and nobody but the PLP actually wants the party to start doing what you want-blurring the differences down to nothing.  The 1997-2010 proved that Labour values can't co-exist with capitalism and that no war can ever have any results a non-reactionary could applaud, and the 2010 and 2015 elections proved the voters don't want Labour to be antisocialist again.

If Starmer wants to elect a Labour government, he can't anathemize Corbyn's supporters and make the party a left-free zone again.

If he tries that, all of the socialists will vote Green or Left Unity.

NDPP

"This is Tony Blair 2.0: I told you this would happen. Keir Starmer will have no impact. The Tailor-shop dummy." - George Galloway (and MOATS vid)

https://buff.ly/2Rcfa6A

Aristotleded24

To answer the question that opened this thread about what should Starmer do? I think that is up to him. It seems clear by the way that Labour undermined Corbyn's leadership that it cannot be trusted as a party of the left in any serious way. I think abandoning the Labour Party and starting up a new formation, along the lines as advocated by the Movement for a People's Party in the United States, is the way to go.

nicky

To reply to some of Ken’s post:

nicky probably still thinks Yvette Cooper or Andy Burnham should have been elected leader in 2015- Although I was not a particular fan of them, clearly either would have been better than Corbyn as proven by the election results

even though neither of them could ever have been popular and even though putting either of them in the job would have kept the part a pro-austerity, prowar dead zone and guaranteed that the party would have stayed at the 2010 and 2015 support levels for the rest of eternity, since nobody wanted the party to keep blurring the differences. What a slur on moderate Labourites

 

Labour ONLY gained ten percentage points in the popular vote share in 2017 because it broke with Blairist/Blue Labour policies and because it accepted the results of the EU referendum as the end of the matter.  It only lost votes in 2019 because the AS lie campaign was invented by the Blairists and the Tories and because the Labour Right forced Corbyn to accept a second referendum and after forcing that kept pushing, for no valid reason, for the party to abandon socialism and even social democracy and for the party to tell the Red Wall constituencies that they didn't matter, to go hardline Remain.

Really, are you capable of understanding that the biggest reason for the Labour debacle was how ridiculous Corbyn was in the eyes of all but his most blinkered apologists? 

 

Starmer accepted that the issue was settled in 2017.  He had no good reason, after accepting that THAT year, to switch to sabotaging the party's chances by pushing for a hardline Remain stance at the party conference right before the election, and taking that push so far that he held a Labour Remain rally outside the conference itself.  The great majority of Labour’s members and voters were Remainers, as turned out to be a clear majority of the electorate by 2019. Corbyn denied them a realistic option. His apologists now try to cast the blame on those who wanted Labour to represent the majority on this issue. But of course St Jermey is above blame

 

Starmer knew he was harming the party and he knew Corbyn could neither go allout Remain or resign as leader with an election imminent, so he has to take a significant share of the responsibility for Labour's showing, and he has no mandate to either anathemize Corbyn or erase the policies Corbyn's supporters advocate.  Again, the Corbynites take no responsibility. Someone else is already to blame, same as in Trump’s world.

 

Why are you so obsessed with erasing everything Corbyn's supporters wanted?  There aren't any policies to the right of those policies other than simply supporting the Tory manifesto and being done with it. Really? No space at all to occupy between Corbyn and the Tories? That must mean Corbyn and the Tories are very close. Do you read this stuff before you send it Ken?

 

If Labout didn't put rail, water, and electricity into social ownership, didn't back a massive increase in social spending, didn't get rid of the benefits sanctions and DID start fetishisizing the flag and the useless, irrlevant German monarchy, what could it do that even mattered?

 

There is no "centre ground", and nobody but the PLP actually wants the party to start doing what you want-blurring the differences down to nothing.  The 1997-2010 proved that Labour values can't co-exist with capitalism and that no war can ever have any results a non-reactionary could applaud, and the 2010 and 2015 elections proved the voters don't want Labour to be antisocialist again. I thought WW Two was vitally necessary for civilization. Evidently you don’t. Afraid we must agree to disagree on this one.

 

If Starmer wants to elect a Labour government, he can't anathemize Corbyn's supporters and make the party a left-free zone again. The only way to elect a Labour government is for Labour to get a healthy distance from Corbynism.

 

If he tries that, all of the socialists will vote Green or Left Unity. Gee, all of them, Ken? You mean 100%? What about the entryists? Surely we can count on them to stick around.

 

Aristotleded24

nicky wrote:
The great majority of Labour’s members and voters were Remainers, as turned out to be a clear majority of the electorate by 2019. Corbyn denied them a realistic option. His apologists now try to cast the blame on those who wanted Labour to represent the majority on this issue. But of course St Jermey is above blame

That may have been true of the overall majority, but geography matters. There are concentrations of Labour voters in non-urban parts of England who voted Leave. Listen to these voters in Sunderland explain their pro-Brexit votes. Notice that the share of the Labour vote in this area dropped in 2019 after Corbyn was arm-twisted into proposing a second referendum. Furthermore, despite what The Guardian will tell you, voting for or against Brexit isn't a clearly left-right issue. On Labour side, you had London and the other metropolitan areas that were pro-Remain, while industrial areas leaned more towards Brexit. David Cameron and Theresa May were staunch Remainers, whereas Boris Johnson tapped into the sentiment of his base on his promise to "get Brexit done." Finally, how can you claim that a majority of the electorate when the only major party to increase its seat count was for Brexit? The country had this discussion in 2016, they decided they wanted to leave. Rather than accepting that decision, the Remain elitists did everything they could to undermine that decision. How did that work out for them?

Aristotleded24

nicky wrote:
Really, are you capable of understanding that the biggest reason for the Labour debacle was how ridiculous Corbyn was in the eyes of all but his most blinkered apologists?

Most of us who have defended Corbyn have spoken about public policy and the impact of political decisions on people's lives. You have ignored all of those points and continued your hate-on of Corbyn, as if he somehow murdered a whole bunch of people. Furthermore, even in the midst of a global pandemic, the bulk of your posting history is still concentrated on hatred of Corbyn. Where you spend your time says a great deal.  You strike me as a right-wing elitist who doesn't have any real problems in your life. You don't have to worry about paying your bills at the end of each month. You're not worried that your landlord will evict you. You're not worried because you just lost your job and are looking at months of unemployment. You're not worried about the kind of world your children and grandchildren will inherit because of climate change. You're not worried because you are eldery or disabled and wondering if medical authorities will leave you do die because the number of coronavirus patients is too large for the system to deal with. I can only conclude, based on your posting history, that these issues that every day people face and the concequences, are of no concern to you, as you have never engaged in any meaningful discussion on that, despite numerous invitations to do so.

Ken Burch

nicky wrote:

To reply to some of Ken’s post:

nicky probably still thinks Yvette Cooper or Andy Burnham should have been elected leader in 2015- Although I was not a particular fan of them, clearly either would have been better than Corbyn as proven by the election results

even though neither of them could ever have been popular and even though putting either of them in the job would have kept the part a pro-austerity, prowar dead zone and guaranteed that the party would have stayed at the 2010 and 2015 support levels for the rest of eternity, since nobody wanted the party to keep blurring the differences. What a slur on moderate Labourites

 

Labour ONLY gained ten percentage points in the popular vote share in 2017 because it broke with Blairist/Blue Labour policies and because it accepted the results of the EU referendum as the end of the matter.  It only lost votes in 2019 because the AS lie campaign was invented by the Blairists and the Tories and because the Labour Right forced Corbyn to accept a second referendum and after forcing that kept pushing, for no valid reason, for the party to abandon socialism and even social democracy and for the party to tell the Red Wall constituencies that they didn't matter, to go hardline Remain.

Really, are you capable of understanding that the biggest reason for the Labour debacle was how ridiculous Corbyn was in the eyes of all but his most blinkered apologists? 

 

Starmer accepted that the issue was settled in 2017.  He had no good reason, after accepting that THAT year, to switch to sabotaging the party's chances by pushing for a hardline Remain stance at the party conference right before the election, and taking that push so far that he held a Labour Remain rally outside the conference itself.  The great majority of Labour’s members and voters were Remainers, as turned out to be a clear majority of the electorate by 2019. Corbyn denied them a realistic option. His apologists now try to cast the blame on those who wanted Labour to represent the majority on this issue. But of course St Jermey is above blame

 

Starmer knew he was harming the party and he knew Corbyn could neither go allout Remain or resign as leader with an election imminent, so he has to take a significant share of the responsibility for Labour's showing, and he has no mandate to either anathemize Corbyn or erase the policies Corbyn's supporters advocate.  Again, the Corbynites take no responsibility. Someone else is already to blame, same as in Trump’s world.

 

Why are you so obsessed with erasing everything Corbyn's supporters wanted?  There aren't any policies to the right of those policies other than simply supporting the Tory manifesto and being done with it. Really? No space at all to occupy between Corbyn and the Tories? That must mean Corbyn and the Tories are very close. Do you read this stuff before you send it Ken?

 

If Labout didn't put rail, water, and electricity into social ownership, didn't back a massive increase in social spending, didn't get rid of the benefits sanctions and DID start fetishisizing the flag and the useless, irrlevant German monarchy, what could it do that even mattered?

 

There is no "centre ground", and nobody but the PLP actually wants the party to start doing what you want-blurring the differences down to nothing.  The 1997-2010 proved that Labour values can't co-exist with capitalism and that no war can ever have any results a non-reactionary could applaud, and the 2010 and 2015 elections proved the voters don't want Labour to be antisocialist again. I thought WW Two was vitally necessary for civilization. Evidently you don’t. Afraid we must agree to disagree on this one.

 

If Starmer wants to elect a Labour government, he can't anathemize Corbyn's supporters and make the party a left-free zone again. The only way to elect a Labour government is for Labour to get a healthy distance from Corbynism.

 

If he tries that, all of the socialists will vote Green or Left Unity. Gee, all of them, Ken? You mean 100%? What about the entryists? Surely we can count on them to stick around.

 

No one in the UK who actually still considers themselves a socialist thinks any policies to Corbyn's right could be called socialist.

And in 2010 and 2015, all Labour moderates supported the policies I described.  Every single one of them wanted the party to keep the differences with the Tories blurred and to join the Tories in cutting benefits and using the "benefits sanctions" policy to torment and stigmatize people on benefits, even though nobody who was on benefits at that point had any alternative but to keep doing so.

All Labour moderates at that point still wanted the party to defend the Iraq War, wanted the party to back bombing Syria-something that could never have any results other than to kill more innocent people-and all of them were obsessed with keeping internal party democracy and any sense of idealism and possibility extinct.

To be a Labour moderate in 2010 and 2015 was to want the party to stand for nothing-as you do.

And again, there was never any such thing as "Corbynism".   There was simply the sense that the party was going to die unless it realized that its purpose was to provide for a radical alternative to the status quo, which meant the party had to stop pretending that Labour values can co-exist with Thatcherite economic policies and laws that kept the unions powerless to defend their members from exploitation.

The PLP insisted on pretending that it was about some sort of cultlike worship of Corbyn when they knew it was never any such thing-and they made it clear that, if Corbyn did stand down, as I strongly suspect-again, I've never claimed he actually offered this, but it is my strong surmise that he'd have been willing to-he said in an early interview that he would stand down if he truly thought he was bringing the party down-to stand down if it wasn't abundantly clear that the PLP would settle for nothing but dragging the party back to exactly where it stood on the issues under Brown and Miliband-or worse, that they'd have dragged it to the right of either of them to what can only be described as the "let's just give up and run on the Tory manifesto" position that David Miliband would have committed it to, and would have done Kinnock-style mass purges in the process-as they will be pushing Starmer to do now, despite the fact that nobody in the wider electorate would cheer him for doing that and no votes would be gained.

I was trying to start a positive thread, nicky, but all you want to do is punish people who supported the last leader.  There's no way you can still be obsessed with putting the majority of rank-and-file Labour supporters who elected Corbyn because voting for him was the only way to get the party ever to break from Blairism-which is what you are still trying to do-and actually want Labour to be a party of change.

It's time to work for a positive, unifying future-punishment and expulsions can't play any useful role in that.

NDPP

NEW: "Sir Keir Starmer's new communications director is reportedly to be from a private healthcare lobbying corporation set up; in 2013 by Bill Morgan, ex-special adviser to Tory Health Secretary Andrew Lansley, architect of most recent rounds of NHS privatization."

https://twitter.com/afshinrattansi/status/1247154228499550210

Like the cling-ons of the Hill and Knowlton, pro-NAFTA, NDP,  UK Labour  has no political future. But it will provide an endless source of pillow-fighting between political bedfellows and fans here who apparently care far more for the fortunes of this disgusting sellout party than they do for the  British people themselves.

Ken Burch

nicky wrote:

To reply to some of Ken’s post:

nicky probably still thinks Yvette Cooper or Andy Burnham should have been elected leader in 2015- Although I was not a particular fan of them, clearly either would have been better than Corbyn as proven by the election results

even though neither of them could ever have been popular and even though putting either of them in the job would have kept the part a pro-austerity, prowar dead zone and guaranteed that the party would have stayed at the 2010 and 2015 support levels for the rest of eternity, since nobody wanted the party to keep blurring the differences. What a slur on moderate Labourites

 

Labour ONLY gained ten percentage points in the popular vote share in 2017 because it broke with Blairist/Blue Labour policies and because it accepted the results of the EU referendum as the end of the matter.  It only lost votes in 2019 because the AS lie campaign was invented by the Blairists and the Tories and because the Labour Right forced Corbyn to accept a second referendum and after forcing that kept pushing, for no valid reason, for the party to abandon socialism and even social democracy and for the party to tell the Red Wall constituencies that they didn't matter, to go hardline Remain.

Really, are you capable of understanding that the biggest reason for the Labour debacle was how ridiculous Corbyn was in the eyes of all but his most blinkered apologists? 

 

Starmer accepted that the issue was settled in 2017.  He had no good reason, after accepting that THAT year, to switch to sabotaging the party's chances by pushing for a hardline Remain stance at the party conference right before the election, and taking that push so far that he held a Labour Remain rally outside the conference itself.  The great majority of Labour’s members and voters were Remainers, as turned out to be a clear majority of the electorate by 2019. Corbyn denied them a realistic option. His apologists now try to cast the blame on those who wanted Labour to represent the majority on this issue. But of course St Jermey is above blame

 

Starmer knew he was harming the party and he knew Corbyn could neither go allout Remain or resign as leader with an election imminent, so he has to take a significant share of the responsibility for Labour's showing, and he has no mandate to either anathemize Corbyn or erase the policies Corbyn's supporters advocate.  Again, the Corbynites take no responsibility. Someone else is already to blame, same as in Trump’s world.

 

Why are you so obsessed with erasing everything Corbyn's supporters wanted?  There aren't any policies to the right of those policies other than simply supporting the Tory manifesto and being done with it. Really? No space at all to occupy between Corbyn and the Tories? That must mean Corbyn and the Tories are very close. Do you read this stuff before you send it Ken?

 

If Labout didn't put rail, water, and electricity into social ownership, didn't back a massive increase in social spending, didn't get rid of the benefits sanctions and DID start fetishisizing the flag and the useless, irrlevant German monarchy, what could it do that even mattered?

 

There is no "centre ground", and nobody but the PLP actually wants the party to start doing what you want-blurring the differences down to nothing.  The 1997-2010 proved that Labour values can't co-exist with capitalism and that no war can ever have any results a non-reactionary could applaud, and the 2010 and 2015 elections proved the voters don't want Labour to be antisocialist again. I thought WW Two was vitally necessary for civilization. Evidently you don’t. Afraid we must agree to disagree on this one.

 

If Starmer wants to elect a Labour government, he can't anathemize Corbyn's supporters and make the party a left-free zone again. The only way to elect a Labour government is for Labour to get a healthy distance from Corbynism.

 

If he tries that, all of the socialists will vote Green or Left Unity. Gee, all of them, Ken? You mean 100%? What about the entryists? Surely we can count on them to stick around.

 

.  That was a typo.  I meant war the UK could ever fight in the future. World War II was the only war the UK ever took part in that wasn't simply a pointless loss of huge numbers of lives.  No war the UK could ever get into now or in the future could ever be for any purposes other than defending the profits of the rich.  And no war the UK could ever fight outsider of Europe now could ever be for progressive or humane purposes.

The Continuing Post-2003 Anti-Muslim Wars prove that.

Ken Burch

You can't point to any policies to the right of the 2017 manifesto that wouldn't just be Tory.

NorthReport

Britain Just Got Pulled Back From the Edge

The country has reasserted its foundational stability, and in doing so made real change more likely once this is all over.

Saturday morning, when the Labour Party elected Keir Starmer its new leader, replacing Jeremy Corbyn as the official head of the opposition. The second and third are more obvious but no less profound, and came in disorientingly quick succession on Sunday night as the Queen attempted to reassure the nation at 8 p.m.—an hour before news broke that her 14th prime minister had been taken to the hospital.

 

As long as Johnson recovers fully and quickly, Starmer’s election has the potential to be more consequential than either of the other two events, even if those are more immediately defining. Starmer’s elevation is of deep importance on a number of levels. First, after years of appalling ineptitude and moral vacuity under Corbyn’s catastrophic leadership, Britain’s opposition will be led by a credible alternative prime minister whose competence, professionalism, and patriotism are unquestioned. The government can now be held to account.

Corbyn’s replacement is important not just for the Labour Party, but for the country. The former leader’s politics meant that effective collaboration with Johnson’s Conservative Party was impossible, even in areas where the parties shared consensus. Corbyn’s refusal to appear alongside then-Prime Minister David Cameron in the campaign against Brexit was emblematic of this, as was his subsequent refusal to play ball with Theresa May as she sought to introduce a “soft” form of Brexit with Labour’s support. That then paved the way for Johnson’s emergence as prime minister—and Labour’s crushing defeat at a general election in December.

But the importance of this moment is rooted in more than effective opposition. Starmer is left-wing, perhaps radically so on the American spectrum, but he is not a teenage revolutionary. Taxes would go up under his leadership, foreign policy would be more idealistic, Britain would tilt more toward Europe. But he would be recognizable. It is hard to overstate how unrecognizable Corbyn was. For much of his life, until being catapulted into the position of Labour leader, he was a fringe figure even on the political fringes, driven by the moral anti-imperialism of the Cold War radical left, which saw him line up with every enemy of the West—and Britain—imaginable. He was a question mark over Britain. Take one small example: Corbyn had, to his eternal shame, allowed anti-Semitism to raise its head in the British left. Starmer’s first act as leader was to apologize on behalf of the Labour Party. By Sunday morning, the return to institutional normality was clear. Starmer, appearing on the BBC’s flagship political program, The Andrew Marr Show, broke with the Corbynite position, offering “constructive engagement” with the government. “We’ve all got a duty here to save lives and protect our country,” he said. A boring statement, but almost revolutionary after the Corbyn years.

https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2020/04/britain-boris-johnson-queen-coronavirus-covid19/609520/

Ken Burch

"constructive engagement with the government" can only mean Labour giving up everything it stands for.  It's not possible to work with the government and start agreeing with it on policy and still claim to be a different party at the next general election.

Labour is now doomed to go back to the 2010-2015 policies, even though those policies amount to giving up on presenting any real alternative to the status quo.

And again, Labour was never institutionally antisemitic and it was never justifiable to equate criticism of the Israeli government or principled opposition to Zionism WITH antisemitism.  The State of Israel is simply a country and Zionism is just another right-wing nationalist movement with no positive progressive agenda-and neither does a damn thing for the religious and ethnic communities in whose name they purport to exist.

The only way to fight ACTUAL antisemitism is to work with equal passion for the end of all forms of bigotry and oppression.   

Starmer wants to force everyone in the party to defend or ignore-which is the same thing as defending-the persecution of Palestinians.  It's impossible to show any solidarity with Palestine or to make any substantial criticism of the Israeli government and stay within the IHRA guidelines and the BoD "pledges".   Lisa Nandy's own group "Labour for Palestine", will have no alternative but to disband if the "pledges" are adopted, since there is no possible way to support Palestinian self-determination within the constraints of the guidelines and the pledges. 

The AS smear campaign was never about anything but forcing all Labour Party supporters to be Likudniks and to force the party to permanently oppose even the now-extinct two state proposal.

 

NorthReport

Obviously Corbynism doesn't work, so thank goodness there has been a change at the top of the Labour Party because if you want to effect change, you need to win the election. Therefore you need to get rid of the left-wing brain-dead purity tests and promote policies that will appeal to a major of the voters. 

Ken Burch

Again, there has never been any such thing as "Corbynism"-there was and is simply a continuing and absolutely necessary movement to make sure Labour is clearly different than the Tories, as it wouldn't be under any manifesto you or nicky would write up.

You'd both take the party back to supporting austerity, benefits sanctions, invading non-European countries and supporting-or ignoring, which is exactly the same thing as supporting-everything Netanyahu does to the Palestinians.

It wouldn't mean anything to elect Labour on any program either of you would draft, because you're only idea is to blur the differences into nothing.

Labour can't go back to Blairism and still have any reason to exist.

Ken Burch

The main change Labour needs to make is to find a more effective means of laying out a left-wing socialist program-and I say left-wing because nothing to the right of the Labour Left's ideas is socialist at all, or even Labour in any meaningful sense.

Aristotleded24

Aristotleded24 wrote:
nicky wrote:
The great majority of Labour’s members and voters were Remainers, as turned out to be a clear majority of the electorate by 2019. Corbyn denied them a realistic option. His apologists now try to cast the blame on those who wanted Labour to represent the majority on this issue. But of course St Jermey is above blame

That may have been true of the overall majority, but geography matters. There are concentrations of Labour voters in non-urban parts of England who voted Leave. Listen to these voters in Sunderland explain their pro-Brexit votes. Notice that the share of the Labour vote in this area dropped in 2019 after Corbyn was arm-twisted into proposing a second referendum. Furthermore, despite what The Guardian will tell you, voting for or against Brexit isn't a clearly left-right issue. On Labour side, you had London and the other metropolitan areas that were pro-Remain, while industrial areas leaned more towards Brexit. David Cameron and Theresa May were staunch Remainers, whereas Boris Johnson tapped into the sentiment of his base on his promise to "get Brexit done." Finally, how can you claim that a majority of the electorate when the only major party to increase its seat count was for Brexit? The country had this discussion in 2016, they decided they wanted to leave. Rather than accepting that decision, the Remain elitists did everything they could to undermine that decision. How did that work out for them?

To illustrate this point further, I'll transcribe a portion of this video narrated by Mark Blyth:

Quote:
There was a rally up in Sunderland. Now Sunderland is a place where there is, a poor town in the northeast. The main employer is Nissan automotive, and they make all these cars that get exported to Europe. So the entire British Establishment links arm and arm, because of course, Europeanization and globalization has been very good for them, the top 10%. So they all line up, Labour, Conservative, mix it up, "you can't do this, your future lies with Europe." So they go to this place that sells shit to Europe, makes shit for Europe, and you think, "well, come on, honestly, these guys will understand," right? And then this guy stands up and says, "you realize of course, there'll be a huge loss of GDP if we leave Europe." And one of the guys who makes the cars shouts out, "your GDP." That guy understands the distributional effects of capitalism better than you do. If there's a GDP growth it's going to go into London. It's going to go to the people who already have assets. Every contract he's signing, he's working longer hours. He's getting more squeezed. He's getting monitored for his pee breaks. "Oh you have to stay in this. This is awesome!" Well it might be awesome for you but it's not awesome for him.

Ken Burch

Given that the Tories won the election on an all-out Leave platform and that Labour's position-thanks to Starmer's relentless pressure on Corbyn on the issue-was somewhere between Leave and Remain-and that those parties between them took 75% of the vote-and given that the only clearly "Remain" party that nominated candidates throughout the UK, the Liberal Democrats, took a pathetic 11%, by what means does nicky, calculate that a clear majority of voters voted Remain in that election?

Ken Burch

Clearly, the 11% showing for the LibDems proves there'd have been no significant number of votes for Labour to gain if it had gone allout Remain-and what happened in the Red Wall seats prove that Starmer's insistence that Corbyn accept the second referendum did massive damage and that an all out Remain platform would have done nothing but cost Labour MORE seats in the former Red Wall areas.

Labour lost Scotland because it did what the right wing of the party demanded-what YOU probably demanded, nicky- and refused to either run a distinctly Labour campaign for "Nay" in the Indyref,refused to let Scottish Labour have a distinct political program of its own, and also refused to offer any significant concessions to Scottish self-determination. 

Labour lost the Red Wall when Corbyn was forced, due to relentless pressure from those of you on the Labour Right to abandon working class people in Wales, the North, the Northeast and the Midlands by going hardline Remain-it was that relentless and totally unjustified pressure, including that despicable Remain rally Starmer held for no valid reason at the '19 party conference, that made Corbyn look weak.

But you need to accept that the Corbyn era is no longer the point, nicky.  Labour is in a new era, and that era must be based on Labour continuing to be a committed socialist party.  If it does what you want and reduces itself to "modernizing social democracy" again, no one who opposes austerity, no one who wants worker rights restored-they can only be restored if Thatcher's antiworker laws are finally repealed-no one who wants Labour to work for peace-the electorate doesn't want TWO militarist parties and is against further military intervention in the Arab/Muslim world-no one who cares about the environment-environmental issues can ONLY be addressed via the Green New Deal-no one who wants Labour to actually offer something different than the Tories will vote for it at the next election.  

And no one who didn't vote for Labour last time will switch to voting for it if it goes back to "modernizing social democracy" again.  

Starmer needs to be better than that.  He can only unify the party by being positive and inclusive, and by making sure not to do what you want done and dragging the party back to Kinnock's toxic, fascistic methods-methods that stripped towns across the UK of the radical Labour local councils that gave those communities the only decent and only genuinely Labour administrations they'd ever had.  It's thanks to them that socialism was dead for decades in places like Liverpool, replaced by...nothing.

If Starmer does use Kinnock's toxic methods, he will do nothing but damage, as Kinnock did nothing but damage.  He will not be rewarded by the electorate if he ends internal party democracy again and waters the program down to nothing again, as Kinnock did in presenting his socialism-free 1992 manifesto-a manifesto that had no socialist or even mildly left of centre policies, and wasn't even to the left of Wilson or Callaghan.

Ken Burch

When is Starmer going to realize he can't treat socialists as the enemy?  When is he going to realize that it would be unconscionable for him to do what the BoD wants and make it impossible for Labour members to express solidarity with Palestine?

When will he realize that no one should be punished because they supported the policies Corbyn's election as leader represented?   That it's not a crime to believe Labour HAS to be radically different from the Tories if it's to have any reason to exist?

nicky

About Two and a half years ago public opinion shifted in favour of Remain which maintained a consistent, though modest, lead in opinion polls since then.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Template:Brexit/Post-referendum_opinion_polling:_Remain-Leave

Although Corbyn was tepidly in favour of a new referendum, many Remainers voted for Johnson or the Lib-Dems ( who had the largest popular vote increase of any party). The main reason cited was that they could simply not abide Corbyn as PM.

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

nicky wrote:

The main reason cited was that they could simply not abide Corbyn as PM.

And the reason for that was clearly the unprecedented smear campaign by you and other lying liars.

josh
josh

nicky wrote:

About Two and a half years ago public opinion shifted in favour of Remain which maintained a consistent, though modest, lead in opinion polls since then.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Template:Brexit/Post-referendum_opinion_polling:_Remain-Leave

Although Corbyn was tepidly in favour of a new referendum, many Remainers voted for Johnson or the Lib-Dems ( who had the largest popular vote increase of any party). The main reason cited was that they could simply not abide Corbyn as PM.

Labour did not support a new referendum in 2017 and the Tories lost their majority.  Labour supported a new referendum in 2019 and the Tories won a comfortable majority.  The country got what it voted for in 2016.

josh

Ken Burch wrote:

When is Starmer going to realize he can't treat socialists as the enemy?  When is he going to realize that it would be unconscionable for him to do what the BoD wants and make it impossible for Labour members to express solidarity with Palestine?

When will he realize that no one should be punished because they supported the policies Corbyn's election as leader represented?   That it's not a crime to believe Labour HAS to be radically different from the Tories if it's to have any reason to exist?

The left needs to make plans to leave the party and form a new party.  They can't repeat the same mistakes as in the 1990s, which led to neo-Thatcherism and an illegal war.

nicky

Michael, I am flattered you say 

 that the reason Corbyn lost  “was clearly the unprecedented smear campaign by you and other lying liars.”

But seriously,I don’t think the British electorate pays any more attention to my Babble posts than they do to yours.

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

nicky wrote:

Michael, I am flattered you say 

 that the reason Corbyn lost  “was clearly the unprecedented smear campaign by you and other lying liars.”

But seriously,I don’t think the British electorate pays any more attention to my Babble posts than they do to yours.

Of course your posts and mine are of no consequence in British or even Canadian politics. However, you have used your posts here to repeat again and again the scurrilous lies that brought Corbyn down. You have evaded all attempts to discuss the actual issues despite many attempts to get you to address them. You deserve nothing but contempt and derision, and that is what I will continue to give you.

Aristotleded24

nicky wrote:
About Two and a half years ago public opinion shifted in favour of Remain which maintained a consistent, though modest, lead in opinion polls since then.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Template:Brexit/Post-referendum_opinion_polling:_Remain-Leave

Although Corbyn was tepidly in favour of a new referendum, many Remainers voted for Johnson or the Lib-Dems ( who had the largest popular vote increase of any party). The main reason cited was that they could simply not abide Corbyn as PM.

How many times in the 1980s and 1990s would public opinion in Quebec have shifted to vote "oui" in a sovereignty referendum? Do you not think Rene Levesque and Jacques Parizeau would have proceeded forward with the referendums if they didn't have indications, in some cases backed up by public opinion polling, that people supported sovereignty? How have the electoral changes of the Parti Quebecois continued after they insisted they would hold referendum after referendum until they got the result that they wanted?

Brexti was settled in 2016. People voted to leave, let them leave.

Ken Burch

nicky wrote:

About Two and a half years ago public opinion shifted in favour of Remain which maintained a consistent, though modest, lead in opinion polls since then.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Template:Brexit/Post-referendum_opinion_polling:_Remain-Leave

Although Corbyn was tepidly in favour of a new referendum, many Remainers voted for Johnson or the Lib-Dems ( who had the largest popular vote increase of any party). The main reason cited was that they could simply not abide Corbyn as PM.

Seriously?  You actually think the guy whose mantra was "Get Brexit Done"(may he recover from his illness, btw)got the votes of Remainers?  That's pretty much like chickens voting for Colonel Sanders.

Ken Burch

nicky wrote:

Michael, I am flattered you say 

 that the reason Corbyn lost  “was clearly the unprecedented smear campaign by you and other lying liars.”

But seriously,I don’t think the British electorate pays any more attention to my Babble posts than they do to yours.


Which makes it even less comprehensible that you cannot tolerate anyone here challenging your continuing obsession with badgering anyone who ever supported Corbyn, on this page OR in the UK, into recanting that support as if it was a medieval heresy or something.

Can't you just admit it's time to stop demonizing the last leader, and engage a thread that's about discussing a positive, inclusive agenda for the new one?

 

Ken Burch

nicky wrote:

About Two and a half years ago public opinion shifted in favour of Remain which maintained a consistent, though modest, lead in opinion polls since then.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Template:Brexit/Post-referendum_opinion_polling:_Remain-Leave

Although Corbyn was tepidly in favour of a new referendum, many Remainers voted for Johnson or the Lib-Dems ( who had the largest popular vote increase of any party). The main reason cited was that they could simply not abide Corbyn as PM.

Most of the polls, in the run up to the referendum, showed a narrow pro-Remain majority.  That slipped away during the campaign, for reasons neither Corbyn nor anyone else was to blame for-Corbyn gave more speeches for Remain than any other Labour leader-so why should we not assume the same thing wouldn't happen again?  

The EU is a settled issue, nicky.   If Starmer and the Labour Right had accepted that it was a settled issue-most rank-and-file Labour Remainers actually had by then-and had not kept badgering Corbyn to go allout Remain-again, and THEN said it still wasn't good enough that he went as far as they knew he COULD go on that by accepting the second referendum-the man would not have been made to look weak.

The whole point of pushing Corbyn to go allout Remain was either to make him adopt a position that they knew would cost the party dozens of seats in the Red Wall areas-areas that have always been anti-EU and could never be persuaded to vote for the party with a Remainer as leader, since almost everyone in those areas blames the EU for decades or regional economic stagnation-and destroy any authority and credibility he ever had as leader.

Starmer has to address this.

He should publicly apologize to Corbyn and the majority of the rank and file who twice elected Corbyn as leader for making that pointless push for Remain-a push he knew could do nothing but cost Labour the Red Wall, without gaining it seats anywhere else at all-and he should propose a truly radical program, with sizable public investment, market forces be damned, to economically revive Wales, the North, the North East, and the Midlands.

And Starmer needs to remember that he was elected by promsing to keep the party socialist and radical.  If the rank and file had actually wanted to make Labour a second Tory party and to do nasty, pointless Kinnock-style purges, they'd have elected Nandy.  Instead, 84% of the Labour selectorate totally rejected that approach.

The way forward is better message communication, not surrender to the rich.

 

Ken Burch

As to the LibDems, they took only 11% and their leader lost her seat.

nicky

1. It was hardly a great election for the Lib-Dems but they did increase their vote by 4%, largley from Remainers who abandoned Labour.

2. I have certainly never lied about Corbyn. Everything I have said has been well documented. Many untruths however have been advanced to make excuses for Corbyn.

3. I brought up the recent Brexit polling to refute the claim that the majority still favours Brexit. i have no wish to resurrect this issue for its own sake. Unfortunately I think this issue is settled for the forseeable future. It is regretable that Corbyn's machinations on Brexit deprevied the majority who wanted to remain of an effective elctoral choice.

4. There is ample polling that demonstrates that many remainers voted Conservative because they could not abide Corbyn as PM. Better Out of Europe witthout him than In Europe with him.

5. As for the supposed non-existence of anti-Semitism in Labour, Starmer has now apologized for it. Hard to fathom why he would do so if it it were all some anti-Corbynite fiction.

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2020/apr/07/jewish-leaders-praise-keir-starmer-for-pledges-on-labour-antisemitism

Ken Burch

Starmer said what he said about the myth of mass antisemitism in Labour-there was never more than a trivial amount of AS and there was no increase under Corbyn-as a reward to the right-wing forces in the party who invented the AS smear for the sole purpose of destroying Corbyn-for the sole purporse of smearing the first opponent of racism to lead a major UK political party as a bigot-and to discredit him as an antiracist by equating what the Labour Right called AS-which was basically just criticism of what the Israeli government said about Palestinians-to "racism", which was a truly disturbing and, ironically, antisemitic IN ITS OWN RIGHT thing to do, since not only did Corbyn never condone or tolerate actual bigotry against people who are Jewish but because it has always been an antisemitic trope to refer to people who are Jewish as "a race"-the concept of a "Jewish race" was always used by Inquisitors, the Church, the Tsars and Hitler to justify their lethal words and deeds.   

Corbyn is gone...no one should be anathemized just for being allied with him, it wasn't a crime to support the man, and nothing would have been better if any of the other Labour leadership candidates-all of whom were committed to keeping the party exactly where it had been on the issues in the 2010-2015 dead zone or, in Liz Kendall's case, moving those policies to the right of the dead zone into, if anything, a deader zone.

Labour would not have done better in 2017 or 2019 if it had had a leader who thought nothing should change from the Blair/Brown/Miliband era.   

The massive victories Corbyn won in the leadership race are proof that the rank-and-file wanted a massive change on policy.

The PLP COULD have accepted that the Labour base wanted a clear break with the Third Way and austerity, and pledged that if Corbyn stood down there would be no massive swing back to the right.  They could have shown respect to what the people of the party wanted and agreed that, no matter who was leader, the things the people of the party wanted would not be erased.   They refused to do any such thing.  In the face of that refusal, Corbyn was essentially forced to stay in the leadership and try his best to get the PLP to work with him.   Anyone else in his position would have done the exact same thing.

What good would have come of having Labour end up with a leader who disregarded what the Labour base wanted and kept things as they were?

And what good would it do now for the party to go back to the policies that led it to massive defeats in 2010 and 2015 and could never have become popular again-OR for the party to go to the right of those policies?

You do realize that Labour has to either be a radical alternative to the status quo or cease to have a reason to exist, right?

You do realize that nobody in the UK who'd ever consider voting Labour wants the Labour message to be reduced, once again to, "it's enough that we'll be more 'caring' about maintaining the capitalist, militarist status quo"?

josh

5. As for the supposed non-existence of anti-Semitism in Labour, Starmer has now apologized for it. Hard to fathom why he would do so if it it were all some anti-Corbynite fiction.

You can’t be that naive 

NDPP

Sir Keir Just Another Complicitous Pseudo-Left Asslicker of Apartheid Israel (and vid)

https://twitter.com/afshinrattansi/status/1248190147918782465

"What's your exit strategy for Gaza now it's run out of ventilators? Or do you back record arms sales to Israel and the shadow foreign minister you appointed who says condemning Israeli atrocities is 'antisemitism'?"

 

josh
josh
josh
josh

Internal report reveals how Corbyn was undermined and smeared by party insiders:

This report completely blows open everything that went on".

"We were being sabotaged and set up left right and centre by McNicol's team and we didn't even know. It's so important that the truth comes out", the source added.

The report claims private communications show senior former staff "openly worked against the aims and objectives of the leadership of the Party, and in the 2017 general election some key staff even appeared to work against the Party's core objective of winning elections".

https://news.sky.com/story/labour-antisemitism-investigation-will-not-be-sent-to-equality-commission-11972071

Sean in Ottawa

For one do a better job showing that he actually is there for the vulnerable people of the UK than the NDP is showing for the people of Canada.

People get pretty pissed at politicians long on rhetoric but when it comes to doing things -- like voting for what is right in the House -- they fade away

Ken Burch

It's beginning to look as though Starmer is a real-life version of "Wainwright" in A VERY BRITISH COUP-if Wainwright had actually succeeded in forcing Harry Perkins out of the leadership.

Ken Burch

The internal report Josh links to personally exonerates Corbyn and demonstrates that, if there was any failure to deal with whatever levels of AS may have existed-levels which clearly did not increase under Corbyn-the failure was largely down to a campaign of sabotage led by anti-Corbyn right wing  bureaucrat Lord McNicol

josh

As a Jewish member of @UKLabour I am utterly appalled by these allegations. The wilful dereliction of duty by senior staff at Lab HQ + effective weaponisation of anti-semitism against the leadership has brought the party into disrepute. I expect full investigation

https://twitter.com/Martin_Abrams/status/1249252026254581760?s=20

 

josh

The leaked Labour Party Report reveals the lies and sabotage of the @UKLabour staffers who regularly dripped poison into the willing ears of @Guardian columnists. Yet this morning there is no mention of this major political story in the paper - strange that.

https://twitter.com/JVoiceLabour/status/1249626127422930945?s=20

 

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